1 Timothy 4:12 (CEB)
12Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young. Instead, set an example for the believers through your speech, behavior, love, faith, and by being sexually pure.
Sometimes teenagers get a bad wrap just because they’re teenagers. It turns out adults are bad with stereotypes, too. Some adults just assume that a group of teens that has gathered—say at the mall or downtown somewhere—can be up to nothing but trouble. Most of the time adults and teens don’t have the same fashion sense, meaning you might get a lot of criticism for what you’re wearing—jeans in church, for example. And, there’s the issue of pride. You know more about technology than most adults do. It’s hard for anybody to admit they’re clueless and need help; it’s even harder to ask for help from somebody 30 years younger than you. It can make a person feel vulnerable or appear weak—something authority figures don’t want.
It can be very frustrating when you’re pretty much dismissed just because you’re a teenager, because the fact is you have a lot to offer. God has always equipped and relied on young people. David was 12 or 13 when he defeated Goliath. Mary was 13 or 14 when she became the mother of Jesus. Solomon was only 20 when he was anointed king of the entire nation of Israel.
In today’s verse, Paul is telling Timothy, who was a spiritual leader for people who were much older than him, that his age doesn’t matter. What matters is his strong relationship with God. He can set an example for everybody in the way he lives his life. You, too, can set an example, not only for your peers, but for the adults around you, too. In fact, an example set by a teenager is often the most powerful example. After all, everybody expects adults to have it together.
Memorize today’s verse. And remember, God has equipped you with something to offer.
If today’s devotion spoke to you in a particular way and you feel led to share your thoughts with others, please do so.